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ID: 12 Title: Author's Own Comments On 7k's "Captain's Log" Replis: 0 Read: 866 Author: 1
Name: Tom Yang  Posts: 110    Vancouver Time: 2003-1-29_4:22:59 Quote    Reply
How did 7k get started? The genesis originated back to the beginning of 1999 during my friend Chris' circumnavigation: Voyage of the Sailing Vessel Osprey. He sent daily postion reports via a Pactor modem from his HAM radio aboard. I thought it would be a great idea if I can set up a "live" database to hold these vital cruising information. True, today most cruisers have their own websites. Am I reinventing the wheel? No. Take eBay as an example, most sellers on eBay are actually big-time venders. They have their own well established business with comprehensive websites. Why do they bother paying eBay for? Every individual counts, but when united, the power enables a whole lot of different functionalities. Once the connection hooks up, we can always explore their individual sites for details.

What info do we need before a voyage? Charts, obviously. Then, all the missing ones from charts are things like regulations, rules, people,culture, prices... You ask, don't we have Cruising Guides and books like Jimmy Cornell's "World Sailing Routes" & "World Cruising Handbook"? Yes, I have his 5th edition Routes & 3rd edition Handbook but the global formalities obsolete too quickly. For this reason, he sets up a website for updates: What about trivial but useful info like "Fresh water cost $8 per gallon in Gibraltar Sep, 2000", "Beer cost $0.33, diesel cost $0.55 gallon in Venezuela 2001-09-15"? Pirate attacks occured where, when, how? Photo, name of an officer blackmailing brides where, when, how... How to buy a 2nd hand scooter in Sicily... What bait works where, when... There is absolutely no limit on the amount of information a sailor can write in his logs. If he/she has a SSB/Ham/Satellite onboard, the information can be gathered via regular emails instantly. If not, the next time he/she gets to an internet cafe ashore, the data will be available with only several days or weeks of delay. When I read Pardey's book, Lin & Larry had a hard time in Tunisia, but when my friend Frances & Michel aboard PAX were there in the early 90's, they had a great time. How many editions of cruising books we need to buy before we set sail?

The Captain's Log let you search grids (Lat,Long), geographic regions, keywords in the log Subject Title and the entire report's text. It can be sorted by log occurring dates. If a mere 1,000 cruising vessels enters 100 reports each, the entire planet should be covered. To make it complete, 7k now let authors upload one picture (up to 65k) for each report entered, so we won't suffer from broken links down in the road. It is literally a united collection of searchable hardcopy ship logs. Authors can always edit their logs to add more informations later on. Another benefit is when a yacht finish a long voyage, it's much easier for the captain to compile a book just by reviewing his online logs. Individual authors own these logs, 7k has no rights to use these reports for any other purposes. Now, during your voyages, your beloved ones and friends know your where abouts by checking the logs. You don't have to send emails to every one of them. You want to send a map with your location on it as well? You gain popularity and respects from your unknown readers. Corrupted officials, pirates, black-hearted stores & buisness... they'll hesitate to rob you since they know you can put your words (and photos) against them in 5 min before they spread out all over the world.

Today, people can go to for shopping for a boat, go to eBay for shopping for sailing gears, go to Bob's Cruiser Log for crewing connections, and can go to many sailing BBS' and forums for discussions. It's the "Captain's Log" that makes 7knots special. I have to admit I am disappointed that the database has not taken off yet. All of you out there, please support this mission. Write your stories! It's for our own benefits. We all love to read, but if nobody writes, we've got nothing to read.